NEWS

Diplomatic activity in full throttle ahead of Geneva talks

VASSILIS NEDOS

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (r), Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders (2nd l) and Cyprus' Foreign Minister Loannis Kasoulides (l) attend a EU foreign affairs council at the European Council in Brussels, on Monday.

TAGS: Cyprus, Diplomacy

A month before crucial United Nations talks on the Cyprus issue in Geneva, which have been portrayed as a last chance to achieve reunification of the Mediterranean island, diplomatic activity is in full throttle.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will meet Wednesday in Brussels ahead of a European Union leaders summit on Thursday.

The Greek-Cypriot leader is expected to brief Tsipras about his meeting with his Turkish-Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci set to take place in Cyprus Tuesday.

Anastasiades and Akinci have both come under criticism at home. Reports Monday said the latter’s Communal Democracy Party is at risk of breaking up.

Meanwhile, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias met Monday with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides on the sidelines of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council.

Kathimerini understands that communications between the two sides are good on a diplomatic level, notwithstanding recent tension between the Greek and Turkish foreign ministries.

Until late Monday, there was no confirmation of when Tsipras will meet with Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan. Athens has set a meeting between the two leaders as a condition for the Geneva talks on January 12.

On Thursday, EU leaders will discuss the bloc’s deal with Ankara to stop tens of thousands of migrants from attempting to reach Europe.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said Monday the EU should freeze accession talks with Turkey over Ankara’s massive crackdown following a failed coup in July.

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